Surprising Number Of Florida Homes Don’t Meet Current Hurricane Code
Bottom Line: Hurricane Andrew forever changed the way Florida viewed hurricanes. It also forever changed building codes in our state. Starting the with what became the standard for building codes, the Miami-Dade code wasn’t just the first for hurricane resistant building standards – it largely was adopted by the state in 2002 as well. For that reason, there tends to be a vast difference in the quality of the construction of homes built prior to 1992, compared to those built since. Especially in South Florida. In a report filed by Florida Trend, University of Florida Associate Professor of Civil & Coastal Engineering, David Prevatt said a remarkable 70% of Florida’s homes don’t meet current building standards. This is showing up in another area that’s an increasing issue for Floridians...home insurance.
Recently we had the news that 50,000 Florida homeowners would be dropped by their current insurance carrier upon policy expiration. As insurance carriers are adjusting risk, they’re increasingly dumping homes that don’t meet current building standards. Citizens property insurance, Florida’s insurer of last resort, currently has the most policies it’s held since the end of the Great Recession – when Florida’s insurance market stabilized after the one-two-three punch of the record setting 04’-05’ hurricane cycle combined with the housing crisis, combined with the recession itself. According to Citizens only 1% of the policies they hold are newer construction homes. 54% of Citizens policies are currently 40 years or older. It's clear carriers have been increasingly jettisoning policies covering homes which don’t meet current standards. There are exceptions... Older concreate homes generally are up to current standards, however most built prior to 2002 aren’t.
Going forward, with a combination of an increase in storm activity, more risk adverse insurers, and already ever rising premiums, the age and construction of your home will be scrutinized more than before and homes which don’t meet current standards will likely being seeing the largest increases in premiums. It’s also evident that measures to harden an existing home, like impact windows, will also be more important from an insurance perspective as well.